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Isis and the Theater of Terror: A Study of Official English-Language Videos (2014-2017)

Qi, Yuanbo (2019) Isis and the Theater of Terror: A Study of Official English-Language Videos (2014-2017). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent.

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Abstract

This thesis examines 79 official English-language ISIS videos from 2014-2017 to enhance the understanding of ISIS global propaganda apparatus. It includes a threefold analysis and starts from a content analysis guided by Braddock and Horgan (2016) to explore the prevalence of and the change in production characteristic and thematic distribution of the videos. The second analysis then goes further to quantify the speech acts used in the videos through the lens of Quentin Skinner's (2002) hermeneutic theory of interpretation. Using the previously established methodological approach, the third and final analysis qualitatively examines four major videos that respectively represent four most dominant speech acts used in the videos. The results indicate that, first, the largest portion of themes were about enemy and religion, and the theme of Sharia (Islamic law) is featured most prominently in the videos; second, directive, expressive, and assertive were the most common classes of speech acts, and the four most prevalent individual speech acts were threatening, condemning, inviting, and inciting; third, the most prevalent themes and speech acts mostly maintained a consistent presence over the course of three years. This study concludes that ISIS has generated a highly sophisticated global media infrastructure and operation system and that possess a great deal of capacity and flexibility to cope with circumstances that the group faced on the ground to respond to group-related real-world events.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cottee, Simon
Thesis advisor: Chatwin, Caroline
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2020 14:59 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2020 15:08 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79312 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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